Spring clean and save hundreds of pounds

27 February


Does your car or van have ‘clean me!’ scrawled in the dirt on its rear window? Are your footwells ankle-deep in rubbish? Is your boot like a teenager’s bedroom?

Here’s the important news for any of you stalling your annual motoring clean-up: spring is the perfect time to get it done, as your vehicles need to have the ravages of winter rectified. This, of course, means removing the crust of road salt and mud caked to wheel-arches and sills, and drying interiors that have been damped by wet shoes and condensation.

Once the interior and exterior are clean there’s one more job to do… and it could save you a small fortune.

Many of us use our boot or back of the van as a permanent storage area. One-in-ten drivers never clear out the contents. But hauling around unnecessary items could be costing you hundreds of pounds a year in wasted fuel. 

Losing 100lbs (45 kg) of accumulated luggage will improve economy by around 2 per cent. That means a saving of between £150 and £300 a year if you do an average annual mileage.

So if you always keep items like brochures, paperwork, unnecessary tools, a socket set, folding chairs, spade, water bottle, oil canister, muddy boots and a coat in your vehicle you could be spending the equivalent of an extra 10p a gallon on your fuel bill, just to cart them around with you every day.

Here is an estimated annual cost in extra fuel consumption for permanently carrying these items:

  • Set of golf clubs £50
  • Socket set £10
  • Deck chair £10
  • Spade £7
  • Wellington boots £3


A survey of British motorists found that a third (32%) keeps more than five items in their car boot. The top five items are: tools (43%); wellington boots and outdoor clothing (27%); gym bag, sports equipment and golf clubs (11%); pushchair/baby equipment (9%) and multiple pairs of shoes or boots (9%).

What do YOU always carry around in your car boot or the back of your van? Is it something funny, unusual or has it been there for an extraordinary length of time? Help lift the lid on the secrets of Britain’s boots by sharing your stories with our readers.

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